Firefighters deal with persistent house fire in Aberdeen

Older construction lacks some of the firebreaks present in new builds

The Aberdeen Fire Department responded two separate times to a structure fire in Aberdeen after the structure’s age likely allowed a resurgence in the fire about 12 hours after the initial response.

The initial fire call came in at 5:22 p.m. on Monday afternoon for a fire on the 500 block of Duffy Street, said Aberdeen Assistant Fire Chief Ryan Knodel.

“As soon as crews got on scene, they had heavy smoke coming from eaves,” Knodel said in a phone interview. “Once crews got up onto the second floor, they were able to get a pretty quick knockdown.”

The house was unoccupied and firefighters cleared the scene around 7 p.m. However, early Tuesday morning, a bicyclist called in, reporting smoke coming from the structure before checking to make sure it was unoccupied, Knodel said.

“They saw the smoke coming from the eaves and went to see if anyone needed help,” Knodel said. “This time the fire was on the first floor.”

Firefighters entering the scene found heavy fire and smoke on the first floor. While the origin of both fires are under investigation, it’s possible that older construction caused the resurgence of the fire, Knodel said.

“Sometimes we have these old houses that have openings that new construction doesn’t,” Knodel said. “Newer construction has required fire stops in the walls that would have prevented any kind of debris from falling down.”

Seeing a fire flare back up in a building they’ve visited is not unheard of, Knodel said, but is a set of circumstances the department works strenuously to avoid.

“It could have been dropped down from the night before,” Knodel said. “It’s not totally unusual. It’s something we strive not to have to do.”

In the case of both fires, Knodel, the fire alarms functioned as intended, praising the homeowners.

“There were working smoke detectors both times,” Knodel said. “Make sure your smoke alarm works and that you’re testing it monthly.”

Damage to the interior of the residence will likely require substantial restoration work, Knodel said.

Contact Senior Reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or

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